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Vibration in steering with new tires

Hi everyone,

I had a test drive of a 2010 Hyundai Sonata and there was some vibration in the steering wheel at 70 mph. The car has new tires and the dealer told me there’s vibration because the tires haven’t been broken in yet. I suspect the tires need balancing. Please help

I suspect you may be right. A tyre or tyres could be defective or the balance may be off. Tyres do not need to be broken in. I am suspicious. Why does a 2010 car need new tyres? How many miles are on this car or is it new (if new why would it have new tyres?)

Maybe they do need balancing or maybe there is something far more serous (like an frame bending accident) that the dealer is trying to hide.

So on your test drive the vehicle had a vibration. Why do you need help? Are you planning to buy the car? Are you just curious?

You should be aware that unlike tires that you buy at a tire shop, tires on new cars can sit, loaded, for long periods of time in the hot sun on hot asphalt and they’ll flat spot. Simply changing the tires will fix the problem.

The salesperson is not telling you the truth. Tires don’t vibrate because they’re not broken in, they vibrate because they’re not properly balanced.

Drive a few other new Sonatas and see. They should not vibrate.

It is a used 2010. It was bought at auction. It was leased in July of last year and has 22k on it. The Carfax came back clean. Yes I’m considering buying it

“The Carfax came back clean.”

I hope you realize that this is not an assurance of anything.

In this forum, there have been numerous posts regarding cars that had “clean” Carfax reports, but later proved to have suffered accident damage or to have been “salvage” cars. Just the fact that the original tires needed to be replaced by 22k miles would make me very suspicious of what may have happened to this car during its first ownership.

In fact, the vibration in the steering wheel could be an indicator of damage to the front end as a result of an accident. Yes, it could also just be from badly-balanced tires, but the line about needing to “break in” the tires is pure BS.

Additionally…a lease car for sale after only one year? That is not a good sign, IMHO. Since leases typically run for 3 years or so, it is very likely that this was a repossessed vehicle.

Think about it: If someone did not have the money for car payments, do you think that he/she actually spent money for the required maintenance on that car? Especially if they knew that they would lose to the repo man, it is unlikely that the former owner had required maintenance done on the car.

Personally, I see at least 2 “red flags” on this car.

If Carfax can’t be trusted, then what can you trust? Is Autocheck any good?

22K miles and the tires aren’t “broken in yet?”

C’mon! That’s so completely BOGUS I wouldn’t trust ANYTHING they told me.

Carfax is a nice piece of information, but it doesn’t tell the whole story, and I would never base a buying decision strictly on a Carfax report.

You’re being lied to. THAT’S what you need to know.

All of these services are as much hype as they are a help.

If it is free, then one of these reports can be used as ONE way of evaluating a used car, but I question whether they are worth enough to actually pay for them

There is no substitute for a careful examination/evaluation of a potential purchase by your own mechanic.
If the seller balks at your request to take the car to your own mechanic, that could be an indicator that there is something they are trying to hide.

A 2010 model with 22K miles shouldn’t go to auction. That is a new enough car without a lot of miles so after a lease it would be on the used car lot of the dealer that traded it in.

Sending it to auction means the car was not good enough for the dealer’s own lot. It may have come in damaged, abused with no maintenance records, was repossessed, or something that isn’t good.

If the tires are new they aren’t balanced properly. That is an easy fix. Yet, the history of this car is suspect. IF you go forward don’t trust the car lot salesman and insist you be allowed to take the car to the mechanic of your choice for a pre-sale inspection.

I guess the price must be attractive if you are still considering this car. I don’t suspect flat spots on the tires, but you should have the alignment checked and adjusted at the dealer’s expense. See if they will do it as part of the deal. You want to see the alignment report (not numbers copied from it). If they adjust the alignment, take the car for a test drive to see if the wiggle is gone. If the alignment checks out OK, then pass on it. You don’t wnat to buy a car that isn’t working properly.